When we say that the Bible is the Word of God, What does that really mean?

When we say that the Bible is the Word of God, does that imply that it is completely accurate, or does it contain insignificant inaccuracies in details of history and science?

By: Dr John Bechtle

Some theologians teach that the Bible is inspired and authoritative, and that it is an accurate revelation of what God wants us to know about salvation—but they leave room for minor errors in non-crucial areas. One theologian, for instance, says that the Holy Spirit’s work in inspiring the Bible only guaranteed “selectivity of events and accuracy of reporting and interpretation sufficient to achieve God’s purpose throughout the rest of man’s existence” (Dewey Beegle, Inspiration of Scripture, p. 190).

However, classic Christianity rests on the assurance that the Bible is completely accurate. It may contain statements that are (1) figures of speech, (2) non-technical descriptions, or (3) difficult to understand. But actual errors would fall into a different kind of category. If there are any errors in Scripture, no matter how small, the book can no longer be our standard of truth. I become the standard of truth, as I determine which Bible statements are right and which are wrong. And if I can’t trust God to get the facts straight on things like dates and measurements (where I can check on Him), why should I expect Him to be more accurate in areas likesin and salvation (where I can’t check on Him)?

The Bible doesn’t use the word “inerrant,” but the idea is obvious.

An inaccurate Bible contradicts God’s character quality of absolute truthfulness.

Some consider this a minor issue, but the idea that the Bible contains errors opens the door to serious spiritual danger. When people decide they have the authority to label one verse as a mistake, they soon find others that they consign to the “error” category. I’ve watched it happen over the years. Each generation rejects more and more Scripture, as it gets in the way of their own opinions.

Author: Dr. John Bechtle


About M. Rodriguez

When I first received Christ salvation, I made it a priority to read the whole bible and I did. But it was the Bible that made me question my faith. For I found it flawed and lacking. Due to this I launched a personal inquiry/investigation into my faith, and ultimately realized that the Christian God of the Bible was indeed man-made. Now I Blog about those findings and life after Christ.
This entry was posted in bible, confusion, inerrancy, john Bechtle and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to When we say that the Bible is the Word of God, What does that really mean?

  1. The Bible claims to be completely accurate, so it must be? Hmm.

    And I don’t like the argument about objective standards either. The fact that it would be preferable to have a clear, objective moral standard to work from is no guarantee that we have such a thing.

  2. Freedom says:

    As I mentioned in previous posts, I am not part of the “Bible Is Inerrant” crowd. I don’t like how the author dismisses more than 1/2 of the world’s Christians with his “classic Christianity rest on the ….” comment. What he should have said is that “Evangelical Protestant Christianity teaches that”, which would be true. Biblical Inerrancy is a more recent doctine (dogma if you like) and is a product of the Protestant movement. It wasn’t even an issue until the early Protestant leaders made it one and the idea of taking The Bible literally was a huge part of the movement, outside of the Anglican Communion, which started because Henry was ticked off that the Pope wouldn’t let him get divorced.

    I don’t agree with the Author’s conclusions on the scripture he uses to prove his point and the vast majority of the verses he uses are completely out of context in the inerrancy discussion, especially the verse taken from John, where the author is using a Greek term (Logos) that he pulled from Greek Philosophy and used it to describe Jesus. He is not using it to describe The Bible as written word.

    The Bible has many conflicting stories (Start with the two different stories of creation), things proven false by science (see the claims that a Rabbit chews it cud), the different takes on the life of Jesus (did he minister for 3 years or 1 year? Which version is accurate?), which is the real Paul? (the Paul in Acts or the Paul that wrote the Epistles?).

    Many denominations and churches theology are centered around the idea that the Bible is inerrant so of course they are going to defend the idea, especially when your Faith in God is contingent on The Bible being inerrant.

  3. Pingback: Does Inspiration imply inerrancy? | The BitterSweet End

  4. Pingback: Is Biblical Inerrancy, Biblical? Does Inspiration imply inerrancy? | The BitterSweet End

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